Dimitri Herard, who is the head of the General Security Unit of the National Palace, had been questioned at the Inspector General’s office on Wednesday, then transferred at a Port-au-Prince police station, according to business partner Carl Martin, who said he coordinated Herard’s legal defense team.
When Herard asked police why he was being held overnight, he was told the decision “came from above,” said Martin, who spoke with Herard on Wednesday evening. He added that the police took away Herard’s guns and cell phone and spoke through another police officer’s phone.
The Haitian National Police did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Earlier Wednesday, Herard did not appear for a judicial inquiry ordered by the prosecutor of the Republic of Port-au-Prince, citing a mandatory appearance at the office of the inspector general.
“While I am prepared to respond once this protective measure has expired, I respectfully request a stay of execution for this purpose, if necessary,” he added.
Martin told CNN that Moise had a large security service and that Herard’s unit contained a number of officers, but “he is the only person who is being held in this way.” The chain of command “does not stop with Dimitri”, he added.
Herard is hoping “for a fair chance to conduct a fair investigation” now that international agencies, including Interpol and the FBI, are involved, Martin said, adding: “His job is political. He has a lot of political opponents ”.
Martin said police initially placed Herard in “solitary confinement” for a very short time, for security reasons.
Moise was killed last Wednesday in an attack on his private residence, plunging the country into political chaos with several personalities vying to lead the country. The first lady was also injured in the attack and taken to a Miami hospital for treatment.
A statement on the first lady’s verified Twitter account on Wednesday thanked the “guardian angels who have helped me through this terrible time,” accompanied by a photo that appeared to show her in a hospital bed. CNN has not been able to independently confirm the authenticity of the post.
Authorities say the operation involved at least 26 Colombians, some former members of the Colombian military, hired through a Florida-based security company.
Herard, the head of security at the presidential residence, traveled to Ecuador at the end of May via Bogota, the capital of Colombia, according to the Colombian national police. The force said on July 12 that it was investigating whether Herard, while in Colombia, encountered any of the Colombian nationals allegedly involved in the assassination.
But several people, including relatives of Colombian suspects, told CNN that the charges against the men did not match.
Matias Gutierrez, a retired special forces soldier in Colombia, told CNN on Tuesday that the 26 Colombian suspects had in fact been hired to provide security for the president and that he himself had been approached for the post by mail. Florida company.
“They only mentioned a US-based company and private security work in Haiti. Security for the President of Haiti, who was believed to be threatened with death, ”said Gutierrez.
“It was quite a plot,” he added. “How can you have this type of assassination and have only one death besides the President himself?” If my comrades had done the job, they should have entered the residence and killed the guards before killing the President. You would have seen a fight scene. “
CNN has made multiple attempts to contact Florida-based CTU Security since Saturday. Colombian police say they are working with Interpol to provide information on its owner, a Venezuelan.
Three US citizens were also reportedly linked to the attack. James Solages and Joseph Vincent, both naturalized Americans from Haiti, were arrested last week. While on Sunday, police arrested Christian Emmanuel Sanon, also suspected of being a naturalized American citizen, accused of orchestrating a complex multinational coup in order to achieve his own political ambitions.
Sanon has repeatedly stressed that “he knows nothing at all,” according to a source close to the investigation who cannot be named because she is not authorized to discuss the case. Police have not announced any formal charges against Sanon, and it is not yet clear whether Sanon has retained legal representation to deal with the charges. CNN could not reach him for comment.
Several of the suspects held by authorities have also worked as U.S. law enforcement informants, with ties to the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, according to people with knowledge of the matter. In total, at least 39 people have been implicated in the assassination so far.
The United States has sent senior FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents to assist with the investigation, and the government is still evaluating requests for assistance from the Haitian government, the spokesperson for the Haitian government said on Tuesday. State Department, Ned Price.